April 15, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - The third-ranked UCLA women's water polo team defeated the second-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 9-8 at the Sunset Recreation Center on Saturday. Though the Bruins led for much of the game, the Cardinal came back in the fourth quarter and took the game into overtime. UCLA eventually held on for the win. The Bruins move their record to 23-3, 10-1 in the MPSF conference. Stanford falls to 18-4, 9-2 in MPSF play.
Both teams came into the game with intensity, knowing that the result could affect their MPSF and NCAA tournament seeds. Stanford got on the board in its first possession with a cross cage goal by Katie Hansen. At 5:20, the Bruins were called for a four-meter penalty, but Emily Feher stopped Hansen's shot. With 2:04 in the first, UCLA tied the game after a 6 on 5 opportunity with a redirection from Jillian Kraus.
In the second, the Cardinal once again struck first. Alison Gregorka tipped in a goal after Molly Cahill was ejected. A minute later, Feher passed the ball to Brittany Rowe on a breakaway and Rowe converted the opportunity, tying up the game. On the next Bruin possession, Kelly Rulon scored on a lob shot over Mccoll. John Tanner, the Stanford head coach, received a yellow card with 51 seconds left in the quarter. At 12.7 seconds, Kristina Kunkel redirected a Munro pass on a 6 on 5 opportunity to put the Bruins up 4-2 at the half.
On the first Bruin possession in the third quarter, Anne Belden scored on a one on one breakaway. Stanford then began to mount a comeback. Laurel Champion and Hansen put up goals, making the game 5-4. Hansen's goal was on a four-meter penalty shot. Kunkel scored her second goal of the game to keep to Bruins ahead at the end of the third quarter by two goals. The Bruin defense stepped up in the third, with key field saves during Stanford 6 on 5 opportunities.
The fourth quarter was all Stanford. UCLA coach Adam Krikorian received a yellow card after an ejection of Rulon, her third of the game. The Bruins would play the rest of the match without Rulon, their leading scorer. Stanford scored the next three goals, to take a 7-6 lead with 1:33 left. The Bruins took shot after shot on their last possession and were able to rebound the ball to get multiple opportunities. Finally with 12.6 seconds left in the game, Kraus scored to bring the game into overtime and save the Bruins from a loss.
In overtime, UCLA played tenacious defense. Rowe and freshman Belden scored to put the Bruins up by two in the set of two three-minute overtime periods. Christina Hewko would add one more goal for the Cardinal, but it was too late as the Bruins held on for the win. This is UCLA's first win over Stanford on the season.
A. Belden, Kraus, Rowe, and Kr. Kunkel led the Bruins in scoring with two goals apiece. Gregorka, Hansen, and Hewko each had two goals for Stanford. UCLA goalkeeper Feher had 11 saves, and Stanford goalkeeper, Meridith McColl had nine. There were two yellow cards in the game, one against each head coach, two four meter penalties against UCLA, and 29 total ejections.
The last exciting Bruin game of the season is on Thursday, April 20 at 4:00 PM at Long Beach State.
UCLA vs. Stanford
UCLA Goals: Anne Belden 2, Jillian Kraus 2, Kristina Kunkel 2, Brittany Rowe 2, Kelly Rulon
UCLA Saves: Emily Feher 11
Stanford Goals: Alison Gregorka 2, Katie Hansen 2, Christina Hewko 2, Laurel Champion, Jacquelyn Gauthier,
Stanford Saves: Meridith McColl 9